Creating a menu with your child in mind is about more than following guidelines and filling bellies. It’s about creating an environment that allows them to achieve their full potential. Foods that nourish the body and mind are not created, they’re grown. We provide each child with whole grains which will supply them with a nutrient rich energy source, fruits and vegetables vital for maintaining a healthy immune system, protein crucial for the growth and maintenance of a healthy body, essential fats necessary for the brain and nervous system and fresh water fundamental to nearly every bodily function.
The quality of the foods we eat affects our health, growth, development, energy and vitality. Eating not only for the pleasure of the moment but for the health-promoting benefits that the foods provide us is a key concept when creating a dietary lifestyle centred around whole foods. Whole foods are foods that have not been processed or refined and don’t contain any added ingredients such as colourings or preservatives. The health benefits from these foods don’t just come from a single nutrient, but from the combinations of the nutrients working together. The closer the food we eat is to the way nature provided it, the more our bodies and minds benefit.
Whole foods contain thousands of phytonutrients that have health-promoting properties, as well as vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients like fibre and beneficial fats. The nutrients contained in whole foods are much more likely to protect us than foods that are processed and missing some of their natural parts. During processing, many of these health-promoting properties are removed. Not only are essential nutrients removed, additives are very often added to create foods meant to have a longer shelf life, taste good, are easy to prepare and inexpensive. However, not only do these additive not contribute anything beneficial to your body, they use up valuable nutrients as the body works to eliminate them. There are about 3,000 food additives approved for use in our foods and beverages and it’s estimated that the average person consumes approximately 11 pounds of these additives each year. Children can be even more susceptible to these chemicals because of their smaller bodies and developing systems. Some of the consequences of these chemicals can be lowered immunity, allergies, behavioural difficulties and headaches.
Within 24 months every atom within our body has been replaced by new ones created by the food we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breathe. We are constantly in the process of creating our own bodies and because of this; the benefits of eating a diet of primarily whole foods are enormous. A diet of whole grains, legumes, seeds, vegetables, fruit, healthy fats and lean protein will help to ensure your child is building a healthy mind and a healthy body.